This archived article was written by: Daniel Pike
When looking at the enrollment numbers for fall 2015 at USU Eastern, something different is revealed. Vice Chancellor of Enrollment, Greg Dart says, “I’ve been working with enrollment numbers for years and have never seen anything like this. On day one I was celebrating enrollment numbers and on day 15 we saw something significantly different.
According to Dart, it isn’t shocking as much as it is interesting. “We’ve had an interesting enrollment this year. For all of USU Eastern (Blanding and Price), as of the first day of school, we were 317 up headcount on the first day of school; 2,092 students were enrolled on day one, 2,015 were enrolled on day 15. We actually dropped back 77 students in those two weeks.”
Last year, from day one to day fifteen, USUE added 300 more students than this year, most of which were concurrent enrollment students. This year, also from day one to day 15, 300 concurrent enrollment students were added, but 300 students were still lost somewhere. In full-time equivalent enrollment [12 or more credit-hours per semester], USUE added 12 more students than last year, 1,474 to 1,486.
With the initial enrollment numbers, one would have guessed that USUE would have ended up having 300 more students from last year. It really speaks to the university’s first-year retention, which according to Dart, is still among the best in the state. “There is always room for improvement. We can put more focus on keeping students committed once they get here.”
It seems to be a strange phenomenon, but not exactly shocking. Dart believes that it has much to do with the type of students that USUE serves. “We have a unique opportunity here and it’s going to take some different efforts that we’ve ever had before.”